In the digital age, with heavy competition, marketing plays a crucial role in the success of a Voice Artiste. Sugar Mediaz brings you an interesting article in our latest Voice Industry Blog.
The voice over industry is becoming more competitive these days, more so with the mushrooming of voiceover casting websites and self submissions in the electronic form. The competition is forcing the voice actor today to work towards building his presence and market his own voice. To add to this, celebrities are making major inroads into voicing and are slowly becoming a preferred option keeping in mind the recall value of their voice which adds a zing to the project. Marketing and promoting one’s self therefore is becoming imperative to get work and recall value for the voice actor.
Ms. Hira from Sugar Mediaz connected with a few Voice Artistes to understand some important aspects of marketing from the voice actors themselves.
Anil Mani is a well known and veteran Voice Artiste and Voice Coach and a pioneer in marketing his services through various online media. Aditi Thirani and Benaifer Mirza are the new generation Voice Artistes who have taken up to marketing their Voice Acting skills using technology in a big way.
So how do you market your voice?
Anil Mani says “Today with the internet being what it is, Marketing oneself as a voice over artist has become relatively easy depending on your budget.
The first thing you would need is a professionally made demo. Let’s start with how to market yourself at no cost at all because as a beginner you might not have a flexible budget. Make your own channel and upload your demo files in Mp3 format, free of charge on Sound cloud. Sound cloud has provision for the recipient to download your files if they require to do so. Later when you get your hands on Audio visual samples, you can have your own You Tube channel too, and this is also free. Google up Production houses, advertising agencies, and TV channels starting nearest to your area. Send them the sound cloud links of your samples. Keep sending out samples to different production houses, working outwards, further and further away from where you stay. Make sure that the recipient is connected with post production. When funds permit, consider making a website with links to your voice samples and work that you may have done, both audio and audio visuals
Benaifer Mirza adds “You can market (though, I would like to use the word ‘represent’ here) yourself as a voice artist by uploading your demo reel on platforms, such as Sound Cloud, for prospective clients to listen to the same. Platforms, such as Facebook, have a number of extremely helpful and active Voice Artists’ pages and groups, which don’t only post a number of requirements, but also often have discussions, tips and tricks on how to better your talent, and lots more. Platforms, such as Upwork.com, Fiverr.com, also have clients posting work and vacancies. Basically, there is a lot of work out there. I, too, have made some excellent contacts through these pages. But, beware of clients who have ‘zero budgets’. Working for free is setting an extremely bad example for yourself, and also somewhere sets a precedent for many other aspiring artists. It is okay to work at lesser rates, but working for free, according to me, is a big NO. The other benefit is that while this industry is an amazing place to be at, there are some artists/clients/coordinators who do engage in unethical behaviours, such as clients not clearing bills, artists duping clients, etc. People are brought out in the open on such pages. This results not only in the clearance of bills, delivery of work, but also warns other artists/clients/coordinators about who to be slightly cautious of.
Aditi Thirani says – I’ve majorly used the online medium as a marketing outlet. It is an open medium that anyone can join and it’s been extremely helpful for me. Branding plays a very important role in this field as much as in any field. Many voice artists try to do everything as soon as they begin. But clients are usually looking for a specific kind of voice for their projects. Voice Artists should really be marketing their strengths and what they will be able to deliver smoothly. When the voice artist is clear about what kind of voice the client can expect when they play the demos, there are more chances of getting selected for the project. If the description of the Voice is accurate, it will also build trust with the client.
* read our upcoming Blog: “Do’s and Don’ts of a killer Voice Demo Reel” for more…
Technology has a lot of portals to offer these days and not much money is required to be spent on marketing these days. The internet alone can help you get the attention you are seeking. However, do remember that no matter how much effort you may put into marketing, there will still be people who won’t know you or what services you offer. Going out there and sharing your demo reels with agencies, etc, as also listing on as many voice talent sites on the internet as possible will add value. If your presence is not visible in any form whether on internet or in the form of a demo reel when there is a need for a voice for a project, they will move on to the next voice talent on their list. It is all about being persistent with your marketing strategy and keeping a track of what is going on in the industry as people are always looking for experienced as well as new and fresh talent.
Following up with opportunities is an important aspect of marketing your voice. Remember the saying “Out of sight is out of mind” and if you are not already doing this already, then start by spending some time every other day to send out a follow-up email. However, it is important to understand the difference between “follow-up” and “hounding”. It is important to understand where to aggressively pursue and where to stop.
In today’s fast moving world networking should also be a top priority for getting work. Interacting with your peers is a good way to establish yourself in the industry. Become a part of group of voice artists who share ideas to improve marketing plans, discussing ways to improve voiceover skills and help each other to grow in the industry.
So then how important is networking for getting work?
Benaifer Mirza – Networking can often be the key to getting a lot of work. Networking through social media, while you’re at the studio and interacting with other artists/clients/coordinators goes a long way. And, while all this is very helpful, I would like to add that it’s your work that will finally speak for you. You can get a client to work with you once through good networking skills, but they will keep coming back to you only and only when you deliver an excellent performance, are prompt with your delivery, and give the client a 110 per cent satisfaction rate. It’s literally like, you would buy a packet of chips or soap after watching an ad on TV, but you will become a loyalist of the product only after it delivers.
Aditi Thirani – Your talent is the heart and soul of your career but networking is the brain that makes it function. If the client doesn’t know about you, no matter how talented you are, you won’t get the project. However make sure your demo reel has been heard and appreciated by an Industry veteran, before you network. A lot of artists make the mistake of sending half baked demos to clients and that forms the client’s first impression about them. This can be very damaging to the career.
Anil Mani – Networking is always important if you are selling anything. No matter how good the product or service is, it has to be marketed. In this case your product or service is your voice. People need to know you are capable of professional Voice Over work. Carry a business card with you at all times with your contact details and your sound cloud link printed on it. Apart from producers, you can also give your card to sound recordists at studios because some producers ask them for references. As a beginner, you may also need the use of voice coordinators too, as they provide voice over artists to those who require them.
Most important of all is – Be Proactive. End of the day marketing effort is the only element that will bring you result, work and the accolades that go with a job well done.
She is an independent lifestyle and feature writer, content developer and voice artist. The need to have an alternate career to break the monotony of her love of writing is what motivated her to enter the voice industry in April 2011. While a weekend workshop with Pathy Aiyar at Mona Shetty’s Sound & Vision India warmed her up to the mic, it was Aiyar’s and many other experts and artists constant guidance through her journey that helped her every step of the way. She specializes in narrations, such as E-learning and audio books, corporate AVs, IVRs, narrations, etc., and also works on dubbing projects.
It was during her freelance writing and full-time reporting days with Times of India that radio and voicing came to her mind as a career option. Aditi has no formal training but got to learn from Jean Parker, a senior Voice Professional who worked for National Public Radio. Her heavy and husky voice was greatly appreciated and got her selected for narratives, taglines, promos, etc. Initially recording for start ups and small initiatives to working her way up to brands like TATA, Reliance, ICICI, ILFS, Travel XP, CDAC, etc. soon there was no looking back for her.
He has been a full time voice over artist since 1998 and a voice coach since 2000 who has a fair amount of quality voice over work in every genre, not only for India but overseas as well. As a child with a speech defect his hard work to overcome his handicap began to pay off with his active participation in dramatics throughout his college days. After almost 28 years in the Merchant Navy, he decided to quit and joined a workshop conducted by Mr. Partap Sharma to make a career in voice overs. From there on, there was no looking back. He has voiced for documentaries and campaigns at various international film festivals including Cannes, as also for National Geographic, Discovery and Fox History. Some of the corporate audio visuals he voiced for were awarded the ABCI Awards for excellence in corporate communications. At the 2013 Goa Fest, one of his projects won a Gold and went on to represent India at the 2013 Cannes Film festival.
About the writer – Hira Mehta
Her motto is “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me’. She has worked extensively in Corporate Communications with a leading private bank and writes on life in general and entertainment in particular. Her blog post is: crossleggedwithhiramehta.